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Five Poems by Kenneth Pobo

Beyond The End

A dark universe 

may be great 

for film viewing

until the theater 

closes for good, death 

tucking in cold stars.

Raylene on Her Divorce from Skip

before we did it, maybe 

it was good or good enough or terrible 

with good moments, a kaleidoscope, 

colors changing constantly, I wished 

just for even a day they’d stay the same, 

but they change I change 

he changes and sometimes 

I imagined cutting his dick off 

but then I thought now why would I 

want to hurt him since sometimes 

loving him is bolt-upright nice until 

colors start changing again so much so 

that my eyes ache and if the Good Will 

people came by and offered 

a whole quarter for my heart 

I’d grab the money, buy a gumball, 

and blow bubbles as anonymous 

cars pass the sold house.

Skip and Raylene Simmer

After Skip had a brief affair 

with Launa, he thought Raylene 

would never find out where


gossip outruns rabbits and wind.  

Raylene yelled but also didn’t care.  

Skip was like a bag of groceries, 

some good things but some that just 

waste space. They considered 

divorcing but Launa moved

to Loyalton. Skip gradually forgot 

about her, told Raylene

it shouldn’t have happened.  

It did happen.  

Like in a dream that fades

when you wake up. The plumbing 

needs fixing—no one’s trustworthy.  

Someone will cheat you  

the way you cheat others. 

Dulcet Tones under Pressure

In the vaccine line a stranger

says his son was very good 

at baseball and did well 

under pressure. Many fold 

but not his son. I must be 

someone who folds. Pressure 

is like a bad sneeze. You can’t 

hold it back. It will be known.  

As a teenager I lived

under pressure to please 

don’t come out.  

Stay in the closet.  

Gramps won’t understand.  

It will affect your chances 

of getting a decent job.  

Bowing to the pressure

invited stronger pressure.  

Secrets are heavier than cars—

or wounds. Achoo!  

I blurted secrets.  

No more me as nail, 

pressure as hammer.  

Pressure never stops.  

But I can breathe now.  

I can breathe.

Delaware River

River water is flux, 

no way to make it rest 

or give up secrets. Usually 

we’re in flux, dashing down 

one road or another.  

We should stop, 

at least for a while.

The river doesn’t stop.  

It carries history 

and twigs. This broken tarp 

of sunlight could easily 

drift away. A river 

is possibility. We may 

or may not stay. Either way, 

we’re moving too. 


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